Downtown street in Greer, South Carolina. Image credit Nolichuckyjake via Shutterstock

10 Most Underrated Towns In South Carolina To Take A Trip To

Step off the beaten path and enjoy an unforgettable journey through some of South Carolina's underrated towns. Discover what lies within these often overshadowed destinations. In Greenwood, the streets exude serenity, lined with historical landmarks that bring the past to life. Aiken, on the other hand, beats to an artistic pulse, attracting culture enthusiasts from near and far. As you traverse the waterfront tranquility of Hilton Head, you'll witness the perfect convergence of maritime history and coastal beauty. These underrated towns in the Palmetto State offer a refreshing escape for your next visit with their unexplored wonders.

Myrtle Beach

Sunrise at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with views of the beach, coastline, and a Ferris wheel
Sunrise at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Escape to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where coastal splendor and dynamic tourism create an unrivaled destination. Renowned for its expansive sandy shores, Myrtle Beach is a sun-seekers paradise that attracts visitors from all corners of the nation. But beyond the commercial vibrancy of the Grand Strand, lies a nearby hidden gem: Brookgreen Gardens. This artistic haven showcases meticulously sculpted landscapes and historic treasures, offering a serene escape from the bustling beach scene.

Stroll along the iconic Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere. From lively entertainment to delectable dining options, the boardwalk is a hub of activity that caters to all tastes. For those seeking a more natural retreat, Myrtle Beach State Park is a must-visit. This protected area preserves the region's natural beauty, with scenic trails, pristine beaches, and diverse wildlife, providing a peaceful sanctuary for nature lovers.


Downtown Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Downtown Spartanburg, South Carolina.

In the northern reaches of the state, the scenic town of Spartanburg, South Carolina, often overshadowed, boasts a little something for everyone. From the fascinating past showcased at Walnut Grove Plantation to the natural beauty of the Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve, Spartanburg unveils a multifaceted landscape to uncover.

The city's commitment to the arts shines through the Chapman Cultural Center, while the vibrant downtown, adorned with public art and local boutiques, adds a contemporary flair. From boutique hotels like The AC Hotel Spartanburg or The Clevedale Historic Inn and Gardens to renowned culinary destinations like The Kennedy or Cribb's Kitchen on Main, Spartanburg offers a tantalizing array of accommodation and dining options.


Greer, South Carolina, during the International Festival-Greer Goes Global.
Greer, South Carolina, during the International Festival-Greer Goes Global. Image credit Nolichuckyjake via

Explore the charming town of Greer, South Carolina—an oasis that effortlessly stands out in the state's urban scenery. Greer Station serves as a bustling focal point for local events and entertainment. However, what truly sets Greer apart is its rich historical and natural heritage. Uncover the city's past at the Greer Heritage Museum, wander the serene trails of the Greer City Park, and venture into the past at the BMW Zentrum Museum, showcasing the evolution of automotive innovation. North of town, don't miss the enchanting Lake Robinson, where boating and fishing amidst breathtaking scenery await.


A park in the town of Aiken, South Carolina.
A park in Aiken, South Carolina. Image credit Linda Hendrickson via

Enter a world of refined elegance and Southern charm as you step into Aiken, South Carolina. Stroll through the vibrant ambiance of downtown Aiken, with quaint boutiques like Plum Pudding and delightful eateries like The Willcox lining the streets. History enthusiasts will enjoy the Aiken County Historical Museum, showcasing the city's rich past. For nature lovers, Hitchcock Woods offers a sprawling oasis of untouched wilderness perfect for hiking and horseback riding. After a day of exploration, unwind at one of Aiken's luxurious hotels, such as the Willcox Hotel or the Carriage House Inn, offering comfort and elegance.


Emerald Farm, where goat milk is turned into soap and other beauty products, Greenwood, South Carolina,
Emerald Farm, Greenwood, South Carolina. Image credit Malachi Jacobs via Shutterstock

The hidden gem of Greenwood, South Carolina, combines small-town charm with a wealth of fascinating attractions. Nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of the Piedmont region, Greenwood offers a delightful escape for history buffs and nature enthusiasts alike. The Ninety-Six National Historic Site, just 16 minutes from Greenwood, is an attraction that provides the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Revolutionary War soldiers.

Discover the rich cultural heritage at the Greenwood Museum of History, showcasing artifacts from the city's past. Nature lovers can revel in the beauty of Lake Greenwood, perfect for boating and fishing. After a day of exploration, retreat to one of the many comfortable hotels available, such as the Inn on the Square or the Fairfield Inn & Suites, where guests can enjoy their downtime.

Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head, South Carolina, lighthouse at dusk.
Hilton Head, South Carolina, lighthouse at dusk.

Sun-soaked adventures await in the beautiful city of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. This vibrant destination (drawing in 2.7 million visitors annually) sets itself apart from other tourist spots in the state. Delve into the island's past at the Coastal Discovery Museum for the region's history and explore the beautiful grounds. Unwind amidst the pristine beaches and picturesque landscapes of Coligny Beach Park while enjoying a range of water sports and activities.

For a taste of the island's commercial side, indulge in retail therapy at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina, a vibrant hub filled with shops, restaurants, and live entertainment. With its popularity among tourists, Hilton Head Island offers multiple accommodation options, including luxurious hotels such as the Sonesta Resort, Hilton Head Island, and The Sea Pines Resort.


The Kroeger Marine Construction, Seneca, South Carolina.
The Kroeger Marine Construction, Seneca, South Carolina. Image credit Cheri Alguire via Shutterstock

Seneca, South Carolina, is another hidden gem that sits in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Seneca has a remarkable mix of commercial and natural/historical landmarks. Two such attractions are the awe-inspiring Issaqueena Falls, a 26-minute drive away in Walhalla, and the serene Lake Keowee, which offers boating, fishing, and stunning sunsets. The Historic Ballenger House has preserved 1800s architecture and intriguing stories. Meanwhile, the Ram Cat Alley, a bustling district filled with unique shops and eateries, invites visitors to indulge in local flavors and discover hidden treasures.


Aerial view of downtown Camden, South Carolina.
Downtown Camden, South Carolina.

A trip to Camden, South Carolina, opens the door to a vibrant mix of Southern charm and historical richness. Picture cobblestone streets and antebellum mansions, revealing the city's storied past. Camden's equestrian heritage takes center stage at the Springdale Race Course, hosting the renowned Carolina Cup. History enthusiasts will want to check out the Camden Battlefield and Longleaf Pine Preserve, where nature intertwines with history. Wander through the enchanting Kershaw-Cornwallis House, echoing tales of colonial intrigue.


Paul H. Rogers House, Hartsville, South Carolina.
Paul H. Rogers House, Hartsville, South Carolina. Image credit Jud McCranie, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In the heart of South Carolina, Hartsville presents a serene escape from the vibrant clamor of the state's big cities. Kalmia Gardens is a 35-acre haven with tranquil walking trails and historical significance, while the Hartsville Museum offers a journey of past times. The Black Creek Arts Council showcases local creativity, adding a modern cultural facet. Furthermore, Hartsville accommodates tourists with various hotels, like the elegant Mantissa Hotel, making it an accessible gateway to a remarkable exploration of South Carolina's heritage and natural beauty.


Downtown Newberry, South Carolina.
Downtown Newberry, South Carolina. Image credit: Pom' via

Set your compass for Newberry, South Carolina, where the charm of Southern hospitality dances with a rich historical tapestry. An attraction that brings beauty is the majestic Carter & Holmes Orchids, an expansive oasis of floral delights. In the historic district, visitors can check out the Newberry Opera House, an architectural jewel. Dive into the past at the Newberry County Historical Museum, narrating tales of the region's evolution. Tourists flock to Newberry and find comfort in iconic accommodations like the Hampton Inn at the Opera House, ensuring a stay as memorable as the city.

Dive into the charm of South Carolina's underrated towns, where history, culture, and coastal beauty converge in a unique tapestry. These hidden havens offer a break from the bustling city pace, inviting travelers to uncover the stories etched in each cobblestone. Embrace the warmth of small-town hospitality and let these gems redefine your South Carolina adventure. So, venture off the beaten path, where quaint surprises await – because the best tales often begin in the most unexpected corners!


More in Travel